Smile Bank Loans

APR: 4.9% Representative
Loan amount: £2,000 - £25,000
Repayment duration: 12 - 84 Months
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Smile Bank Loans customer reviews

1.7 out of 5 from 170 reviews

Absolute Joke!!

02:59 07-08-2013

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I don't even know who this company is and they have taken money from my account without my approval absolutely disgusted!!!!

Katie King

This is unaccetable

09:46 20-05-2013

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i took out loan just over 3 months ago for a ridiculous price that was the furthest thing from simplicity but yet still the money has yet to arrive, if anyting it hs cause my current debt to plummet and cause more financial stuggle.

Louis

utter rubbish

11:30 13-01-2012

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From Oct-Jan i waited for my account. there is n problem with my credit, I was approved and jsut spent monthsw waiting for them to send me the acfount iuformaqtion.I called numeroius times and evey4r tiem ~I jsut got put on hold.I wa sure that I was put on hold and then jsut left there in the hopes that I would get bored and hang up. Because they had no clue why my application was taking so long.toal, utter rubbish. do nt waste your time,.

susie

Very Inflexible

09:33 19-07-2011

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I've been banking with Smile for about 2 years, its been a pretty smooth relationship for most of that time with the odd exception. However, the loan application process has been long, confusing and very frustrating. After numerous phone calls to establish the status of my application I was finally told it had been accepted. When the paperwork arrived, the payment date was different to the one requested during the application process. When I called about this, I was told that I couldn't choose the date or indeed amend it....ever! I pointed out that I had been asked for my preferred date at the time of application but was told this was a mistake. Apparently you can set a payment date with a Co-Op loan but not a Smile one. As they are the same company working from the same offices, with the same systems and the same staff, I find this almost impossible to believe, it defies all logic. Needless to say I will not be completing my documents, in fact I will be tearing them up and applying with someone else.

Gaja

Quick&hassle free

12:46 28-01-2011

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good service

Emma

Great

19:08 04-12-2010

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Used to help pay debts and exams

nakita

miss

07:08 04-12-2010

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to help pay debts and xmas

nakita

Payment Problem

17:07 14-10-2010

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I switched my banking to Smile, and my partner and I set up a joint account with them, because of their ethical policies. However, we are now leaving after one too many unpleasant experiences.Naively, I assumed that their ethical investment practices would be reflected in the way they treat their customers. But the moment anything goes wrong, or anything remotely complex takes place, the shutters go down, and you're met with dumb intransigence.The latest thing, and the final nail in the coffin, is that we transferred £850 into the account to be sure that we could cover a £1080 payment that was shortly due to be debited. Later in the day, the payment was refused and a penalty charge was levied. This happened despite the fact that our balance by that time was sufficient to cover the payment. Smile's "reasoning" is that they process credits before debits on any given day - a tactic which seems designed to screw as many penalties fees as possible out of customers - and a dubious claim in any case, given the statement showed payment of £850 in at 12:26, payment of £1080 refused at 15:40.We are now moving our banking back to NatWest/RBS, with whom we have had many years of happy service, and who in our experience show more humanity and flexibility in such circumstances.

Adam

Really please

11:26 05-10-2010

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“smile was recommended by someone i know in banking and they were right! The most important thing to me is online security closely followed by excellent customer services. smile delivers both impeccably. I have found your customer services people second to none - thank you to all for that.

Tracy

Helpful!

11:24 05-10-2010

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I have always found smile to be very helpful, but often find it can take them a couple of days to reply to secure messages online. However if you are not looking for a flexible loan, and are happy with their APR rate then I would fully recommend them.

Karen

Our review of Smile Bank Loans

Our review by Alex
Written by: Alex
Simplicity
77.9
Features
70.8
Consumer sentiment
79.0

Total OPTIOSCORE
75.2/100

Smile are not one of the biggest banks on the high street but they are a trading name of The Co-operative Bank and so come with that financial knowledge, authorisation by the Prudential Regulation Authority and are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Their representative APR is one of the cheapest on Choose Wisely, but you will need to have good credit history if you want to be accepted.

Criteria you will need to meet in order to be considered are fairly standard for the lender market, however unlike most lenders, it doesn’t matter if you haven’t been in the UK for a specified length of time. You will also need to have held a Smile current account for at least one month and be aged over 21. Although Smile highlight that their application process is quick and simple, it does have more stages that some other lenders in the market and takes longer than the 10 minutes advertised. After the online application customers will then need to receive and send documentation in the post and it then takes up to three days to get the funds. So, if you’re looking for quick cash, then Smile won’t be the best lender.

Reviews on TrustPilot don’t paint the best picture for Smile, however these are across all the financial products, rather than just loans. Their score of 2.4 out of 10 can be attributed to their recent redesign of the website for online banking. Customers feel that the changes have made the site confusing and difficult to use. When looking at their loan products specifically, Smile have a fair 3.1 out of 5 on Choose Wisely. Like those on TrustPilot, some customers have found that the loan application is lengthy and full of hassle. However, the customers that have had positive experiences actually praise the process and have found it to be smooth – so like anything it can be down to your own individual opinion.

Overall verdict: Positioned as an ethical company and part of The Co-operative, Smile’s recent website redesign seems to have made customers lives quite difficult. If you have good credit and want a cheap interest rate then it could be worth checking them out – perhaps once the new website teething problems have sorted themselves out.

Highlights

  • Easy online application
  • Monthly repayments fixed to help with budgeting
  • No arrangement fees or charges
  • Online portal for an overview of the loan

Minimum criteria

  • You must be a UK resident
  • You will need to be aged over 21
  • You will need to have held a Smile account for at least 1 month

Fees

  • Maximum APR 20.9%
  • Arrangement fee: £0
  • Early repayment fee: £0
  • Late payment fee: £0

About Smile Bank Loans

Smile Bank offer loans between £2,000 and £25,000 that can be repaid over loan terms ranging from one to seven years. Their representative APR is 4.9%, although this could differ for some applicants as they consider personal financial circumstances, loan amount requested and the term over which it will be repaid. Customers who wish to apply to Smile for a loan will need to have held a bank account with them for at least one month before application.

The application for Smile is completed online, once they have reviewed the details and credit history they will send across documentation which needs to be signed and sent back. Once they have received the returned documentation they will send a confirmation letter to you within two days and the funds will be available up to three days after that.

Although there are no arrangement fees there are some for early settlement of the loan which will depend on the original loan term. For those under one year there will be a charge of 28 days’ interest and for loans taken out for more than a year it will be 58 days. You can arrange this process by sending a message through your Smile internet banking or by calling their telephone team.

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